Relational Services

I provide couples/family/relational therapy for adolescents and adults both in the context of their relationships as well as through relationship-focused therapy for individuals who want to improve their interpersonal lives. Our relationships impact our thoughts, our feelings, and our behaviors.  Relationships can be supportive, or they can weigh us down. How our relationships impact us can be obvious to us and everyone around us, or they can be insidious and live in the pit of our stomachs-- creeping up on us as feelings we can’t put the right words to. ...and anywhere in between… It can be difficult to understand and connect how these feelings slowly change what we do and who we are.  ‘Relational’ therapy with more than one client aims to help improve interactions with each other, achieve relational goals, and cultivate value and meaning together...  

 

I believe in using relationship therapy that works. I practice evidence-based therapy, which means I use therapeutic practices that have been studied and supported by empirical research studies.

There are several forms of relational therapy you can engage in:

What are your goals? They are different for every relationship. If you and your partner(s) know what they are, wonderful!  If identifying these goals is what you are struggling with, I provide a bespoke, safe, and nonjudgmental environment for you and your partner(s) to communicate and build these relationship values together. We collaborate in creating a new way of relating that allows partners to rediscover empathy and resolve troubling patterns of communication and differences in expectations. Conversations in therapy focus on uncovering thoughts and behaviors that interfere with connection and happiness, as well as promote a deep sense of knowing each other and how to support the relationship without the shadow of issues that interfere with connection and communication.

I help clients feel heard and find shared meaning, understanding, stability, and connection. I help clients break the cycle of blame and separate their past experiences from their hope for their futures together. My clients see timely results through the use of evidence-based approaches in couples therapy, sex therapy, and family systems therapies. 

Also, you do not have to attend therapy with someone else in order to improve your relationships. Therapy can help you learn what you want from relationships, strengthen your sense of identity, clarify your expectations/values/boundaries, help you make more authentic and wise decisions about how you cultivate healthy relationships, and improve skills related to communication and conflict management. 

Additionally, I have specialized expertise working with life transitions, infidelity, trust issues, communication, navigating open relationships, same-gender couples, diverse and non-traditional relationships (i.e., poly, open, swingers, FWBs) and sexuality (i.e., kink, BDSM, fetishes, play), sex therapy, issues with sexual desire and arousal, erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety, intimacy, and the use of pornography in relationships. I also specialize in issues that affect LGBTQIA+ relationships like discrimination, transitioning, exploring sexual orientation, closeted partners, and healing from hurts related to unaccepting support systems and family.

Is your relationship a source of support? Can you talk about difficult topics and be vulnerable with your partner(s)?  Are there old wounds in your relationship?  Do the arguments you are having feel like the same dance, over and over again? Do you feel like you can be your true Self with your Partner(s)? Are you struggling with how to tell your partner(s) something? Are you having the sex you want to be having? Do you feel connected?

 

Relational Services can focus on:

  • COMMUNICATION Frequent arguments, the same dance, blame for past hurts, communication difficulties
  • TRUST Difficulty in trusting one another, recovering from betrayal/infidelity
  • INTIMACY Fear of emotional and physical intimacy, vulnerability
  • CONNECTION Lack of connection, aloneness in the relationship, struggle finding ways to connect
  • SEXUALITY Loss of libido, different levels of sexual desire, sexual dissatisfaction, mindful sex

 

  • PASSION  Lack of passion for one another, loss of sparks, feeling like roommates with one another
  •  FAMILY Disagreements in parenting, finances, and family relationship 
  •  PARENTING Expecting a baby, transition to parenthood, co-parenting, blended families
  • FAMILY OF ORIGIN Unresolved childhood issues impacting the relationship, current family of origin issues, coming out 
  •  OPPENNESS Explore sexuality and new relationship structures, find transcendental experiences, novelty

 

Please also see My Expertise pages on:

Sex Therapy

Sex therapy is a form of counseling intended to help individuals and couples resolve sexual difficulties, such as performance anxiety or relationship problems. I support couples in restoring trust, rebuilding intimacy, and reigniting healthy, passionate sex.  Some choose to attend sessions alone; others bring their partner with them. Session frequency and length usually depend on the client and the type of problem being addressed.

Sexual health is an essential part of overall emotional and physical well-being. But if you’re experiencing a sexual problem, the last thing you probably want to do is talk about it. However, you aren't alone! 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men report some degree of sexual dysfunction.  

Sex therapy is a type of psychotherapy that also takes into account possible physical problems. For this reason (among others), sex therapy requires special training. When a couple comes in with a sexual problem, we try to figure out how each of them could be contributing to the issue. We examine what is going on, gradually interpret this in the context of their sexual history/experiences, tease apart cultural/societal influences, and come up with solutions

Sex therapy utilizes a variety of approaches to treat sexual dysfunction. In addition to the techniques outlined by Masters and Johnson, sex therapy includes cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), emotion-based therapy, and couples communication techniques.  It’s important to know that sex therapy sessions do not involve any physical contact or sexual activity. I usually assign “homework”—practical activities that clients are expected to complete in the privacy of their own home.

 

Trauma-focused Couples Therapy 

There are evidence-based couples therapies that navigate interpersonal relationships struggling with trauma (and depression) experienced by one or both partners. I have specific expertise in treating relationship distress related to the impacts of sexual assault, intimate partner violence, discrimination, and combat trauma. 

 


Investment

Research suggests that greater satisfaction in your romantic relationship is significantly associated with greater general life satisfaction and even positive physical health outcomes. Distressing relationships are associated with a range of physical, emotional, and psychological problems. Relational therapy can serve as a preventative approach to build resiliency, strength, joy, and commitment for lifelong success. It is a unique opportunity to invest in the health of your relationship as well as your own wellbeing.

Many therapists will state that they provide relationship counseling but often have never had specific training in couples therapy. Couples therapy is very different from individual therapy, even though it can appear to use the same concepts and skills. Choosing a therapist with specific couples/relational training is important. I am very selective about the couples I work with-- focusing on fit and expertise. I take your time and effort very seriously, and I expect each Client I work with to likewise make the same commitment to our sessions.